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    • jm1973
    • By jm1973 12th Sep 17, 11:34 AM
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    jm1973
    Pre-1998 Student Loan / Statute barred advice needed
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 17, 11:34 AM
    Pre-1998 Student Loan / Statute barred advice needed 12th Sep 17 at 11:34 AM
    Hi.

    A couple of years ago I started repairing my credit record. It is now good and 2 years ago my partner and I took out a mortgage.

    A few months back I started getting phone calls and texts from various companies alluding to student loans that I owed money for. I ignored them until I eventually got a letter.

    I rang the number and it was from a debt collection company saying I owed around £2000 for a pre-1998 student loan which I never paid back.

    I said that this was the first I had heard of it and could they supply some kind of evidence to back their claim. They then admitted that I hadn't made a payment, or had any contact with them, since 2003.

    At this point I suggested the debt was statute barred. I didn't hear anything from them for a few weeks, then eventually I got a letter saying that the debt is indeed statute barred, and they would no longer be pursuing the debt.

    A few weeks later I started to get phone calls, and eventually a letter from another company, called Allied. They said I owed around £800 from a 1992 student loan, or to be more precise interest payments from a student loan from 1992.

    Again I suggested this would be statute barred, but they said that a CCJ was given to me in around 2000 so the debt was still enforceable. I asked them to send me proof of the original debt, and proof of the CCJ.

    Several weeks later I got a letter with photocopied statements of the original student loan, dated from the early 1990s, but with an address written on them that I lived in from 2011 - 2012. There was also a photocopy of another statement - this one dated May this year, which was again addressed to the address I lived in only from 2011 - 2012.

    There was nothing to do with any CCJ in the letter.

    I spoke to the debt company again and they said it was their understanding that the loan was taken out, and the CCJ awarded, against the address that was photocopied onto the letters. This is obviously nonsense because the loan was taken out in 1992, the CCJ allegedly in 2000 and I didn't move into the address till 2011ish.

    They said they would go back to the client to get more info. This was several weeks ago and I haven't heard anything back from them (but they do tend to go quiet for weeks at a time).

    However, I got a missed call yesterday and when I looked up the number it was from Erudio, supposedly about a student loan. Whether it is the same one or another one I do not know.

    Can anyone please give me some advise:

    1. I have not paid anything off these loans and I have not been in touch with them, or them with me as far as I know.
    2. I used to do contract work, and it is possible that the umbrella company has deferred or made payments to these loans (although they say they didn't), and it seems unlikely given one of the loans has already turned out to be statute barred.
    3. If one debt is statute barred, then I imagine the older one would be too.

    Nothing has been put on my CRA thus far. Am I right in thinking that if the debt is that old they are no longer able to put this on my credit record?

    My main concern is not losing my good credit rating, but also I do not have a lot of money to pay off debts that I believe to be statute barred.

    Should I send prove it letters?
    Should I send statute barred letters?
    Should I ignore them?

    Any advise gratefully received.
Page 1
  • National Debtline
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:27 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:27 PM
    Hi JM1973 and welcome to MSE,


    The 6 year clock under limitations for the old style loans starts from when the first deferment was due but missed, the last payment or the last written acknowledgement, whichever is the later.


    It would also be the debt collectors responsibility to provide proof of the CCJ, if they claim there is one. I will make you aware that if there is a CCJ, and they can prove that to be the case, then the debt would still be enforceable, but with the caveat that they would need special permission from the court to use enforcement action as the CCJ is more than 6 years old.


    There should be nothing more they can add to your credit file at this stage. The debt will appear for 6 years from the date of default or judgement, which should've been and gone by now, based on the dates you have given.


    I would suggest you send the limitations letter again, but slightly amend it to say, clearly, that you want proof of the CCJ as that is their responsibility under the limitations act. If they are still unable to provide this then raise a complaint on the grounds of harassment and escalate the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Good luck,


    Laura
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 12th Sep 17, 1:29 PM
    • 11,798 Posts
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    fatbelly
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:29 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:29 PM
    The debts sound statute barred unless there is a ccj on them. On the first debt you've asked for proof of the ccj and said (I think) that you won't be making payments as you consider the debt statute barred.

    You could do the same on the second one.

    Student loans don't appear on CRA files but a ccj would (for 6 years)

    Before someone says 'a student loan cannot be SB', here is what National debtline say:

    There are ‘old style’ and ‘new style’ student loans. Old-style student loans are for students who started their university course before September 1998. New-style student loans apply to students starting their course from September 1998 onwards.

    The Limitation Act says that the limitation period for student loans is six years.

    The cause of action (when the limitation period starts running) for old-style student loans, is usually when the loan became due for repayment in the April following the conclusion of your course. However, if you asked for it to be deferred within the six year limitation period, this would have restarted the limitation period.

    For new-style student loans, the cause of action is likely to be when your earnings reach the set level at which deductions from your wages can begin. Because the Student Loan Company can take money directly from your wages, it might be more difficult to use the Limitation Act. Contact us for advice
    (cross-posted with laura)
    • jm1973
    • By jm1973 12th Sep 17, 3:00 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jm1973
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:00 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:00 PM
    Thanks you both for the speedy replies.

    It would also be the debt collectors responsibility to provide proof of the CCJ, if they claim there is one. I will make you aware that if there is a CCJ, and they can prove that to be the case, then the debt would still be enforceable, but with the caveat that they would need special permission from the court to use enforcement action as the CCJ is more than 6 years old.
    If this is the case, would they be able to add anything to my CRA?

    Presumably it would have already been added at the time, and dropped off after 6 years.
    Last edited by jm1973; 12-09-2017 at 3:03 PM. Reason: change
    • GM1880
    • By GM1880 4th Dec 17, 9:33 AM
    • 55 Posts
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    GM1880
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:33 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:33 AM
    I'm in a similar position. Had a call out of the blue a few weeks back asking for £1200 for an old style student loan. When I queried it via email then then said it was £2700.

    I made regular payments via a Direct Debit years ago and straight from my salary to the tune of about £12000 which is about what I think I owed. So very difficult to reconcile where this new £1200/2700 come from given it was supposedly from a loan back in 1997.

    I do have funds to clear it off and typically if I'm sure a debt is owing, I want to pay it off. However, given how tricky it's going to be to reconcile this and given I'm unsure if it is, would I be naive in not telling them to get lost given it's statute barred? I've had no written correspondance from them about it for as long as I can recall. There's no sign of anything on my credit file and I'm certainly not aware of a CCJ against me for it.
  • National Debtline
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    Hi GM1880


    You mention this was an old style student loan, but also that payments were made directly from your salary. Direct payments from your wage are only taken for new style student loans (taken out after 1998), unless a CCJ and an attachment of earnings order had been obtained. I'm a little unsure on which type of loan it is. However, if you think there's a chance the debt could be statute barred you're best to challenge it on that basis first.


    Assuming this is an old style student loan, it would be statute barred if there had been 6 years from the date it fell due without a payment being made, a written acknowledgement being made and no CCJ obtained. If you deferred payments because you weren't earning enough, the 6 years starts from the end of the deferment period.


    You can find a sample letter to send to the company who has contacted you here https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Time-has-run-out-to-recover-the-debt-%28sole-name%29.aspx. The onus is then put on them to prove the debt is not statute barred. I hope it all goes well.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • GM1880
    • By GM1880 4th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    • 55 Posts
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    GM1880
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    Hi GM1880


    You mention this was an old style student loan, but also that payments were made directly from your salary. Direct payments from your wage are only taken for new style student loans (taken out after 1998), unless a CCJ and an attachment of earnings order had been obtained. I'm a little unsure on which type of loan it is. However, if you think there's a chance the debt could be statute barred you're best to challenge it on that basis first.


    Assuming this is an old style student loan, it would be statute barred if there had been 6 years from the date it fell due without a payment being made, a written acknowledgement being made and no CCJ obtained. If you deferred payments because you weren't earning enough, the 6 years starts from the end of the deferment period.


    You can find a sample letter to send to the company who has contacted you here https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Time-has-run-out-to-recover-the-debt-%28sole-name%29.aspx. The onus is then put on them to prove the debt is not statute barred. I hope it all goes well.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    Originally posted by National Debtline
    Sorry, mudied the waters there with the payments reference, I think the direct payments from salary were for subsequent new style loans I had. The other payments I made in the past were direct debits/card payments, but I cannot reconcile them, but do think they would have been for this. Though it's relatively tricky to prove without the documentation for those direct debits. Hence looking at this statute barred route as it may be easier than proving I had made payments from 10+ years ago.

    They sent me a statement of the account showing interest accrued and any payments I have made. There were no payments according to this statement, so clear it could be statute barred. I didn't ever defer payments, so that's not an issue either. I have been in written correspondence with them in the last few weeks, but only via email asking them to provide proof I haven't paid it. Hopefully none of that will (un)statute bar it?
    • GM1880
    • By GM1880 4th Dec 17, 7:08 PM
    • 55 Posts
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    GM1880
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:08 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:08 PM
    Oh, sorry, the other query. If for one reason or other they prove it's not statute barred or/and I cannot prove the old payments were for this loan (which is possible I concede), then presumably I'd have a chance to pay it off in order to avoid any adverse credit being reported?
  • National Debtline
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 3:43 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 3:43 PM
    Hi again GM1880


    Once a debt is statute barred, it is always statute barred and that cannot be undone. That means any written contact you have had with this company should not make a difference, assuming the debt was already statute barred.


    Don't forget once you've told them you believe the debt is statute barred it's down to them to prove it isn't. If you haven't done so already I'd recommend sending the statute barred sample letter so it is clear to them you think it's statute barred, and they know they have to prove otherwise. If you are just asking them for proof of payment, with no mention of it being statute barred, that could cause confusion.


    If it turns out the debt is not statute barred you will be liable for it. It can also be recorded on your credit file and it may be worth checking whether they have already done this. Certainly paying the debt off will avoid further action, such as applying for a CCJ.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • GM1880
    • By GM1880 5th Dec 17, 3:53 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    GM1880
    Thank you,

    I cannot see how it could not be statute barred. There's nothing from the CRAs on file, nor a CCJ. If they do confirm to my satisfaction that it's not statute barred, and one I check with the SLC that it was sold to them, then I'll pay it off right away which I believe ought to stop any adverse credit being reported.

    But, on the basis that I've had no contact with them until last month for at least 6 years, plus no payments from me appear on the statement then sent, nor is there a CCJ on file I cannot see how it could not be statute barred. The fact they're still adding interest onto the statement they sent I think confirms it's also not defaulted?
  • National Debtline
    Hi GM1880


    The fact that interest is being added does not indicate whether you have defaulted on the debt or not. However we know you have defaulted because you have not been paying. The best route now is to see how they respond to the statute barred sample letter.


    Good luck


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • GM1880
    • By GM1880 8th Dec 17, 4:13 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    GM1880
    Hi GM1880


    The fact that interest is being added does not indicate whether you have defaulted on the debt or not. However we know you have defaulted because you have not been paying. The best route now is to see how they respond to the statute barred sample letter.


    Good luck


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    Originally posted by National Debtline
    Thank you Susie. I suppose I queried whether I had strictly speaking defaulted on it because there's nothing on my credit file. Though the first time I checked my file was a year ago. So it's feasible that they hadn't reported to the CRA at all or that they had reported it, but it's been so long now that it's dropped off. But if that's the case, I'm surprised they didn't get a CCJ before it dropped off.

    Priority one here it to avoid anything negative on my credit report as a result of this. If it means I need to pay it off, then I will, but if I don't need to and there's no black mark on my credit file then that's a bonus. My only concern is that there's any way it can cause me issues in terms of a new default or even a CCJ. But hopefully before that were to happen (if it could) I'd have the chance t settle it.

    I sent the letter earlier this week, so will report back. Thank you for your help.
    • GM1880
    • By GM1880 17th Dec 17, 12:07 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    GM1880
    No response yet to the letter.

    Oddly Clearscore’s saying a new account is being added to my next report. Hope it’s not this. Cannot imagine how it could be. But reading up about Link, they seem pretty dodgy.
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